I said it. Hamburger Helper. Yes, that childhood classic that was always awesome. Well now that I am grown, and now that I look at food labels from time to time, I decided it was time to make some Hamburger Helper with the use of some simple ingredients and not the forty or so listed on the box of Hamburger Helper. Now to be clear, I have fed my kids Hamburger Helper in the past as I know that they would love it, and with that said, it my homemade version would be a nice comparison, not only for my kids, but also for myself. Let me also admit, I love Hamburger Helper. Simply put, it makes a great meal.
This is a very simple recipe, and it’s also a one pot meal, which I know my family (most) and I really love. Feel free to change this up making it your own version of your favorite Hamburger Helper, but for me, I went with a basic chili and garlic blend.
- 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
- 2 cups of milk, warmed
- 1 1/4 cup of hot water
- 2 cups of elbow macaroni
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp Hot Paprika
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 cup of colby jack cheese, shredded
Start by browning your ground beef in a large skillet, crumbling it up along the way. Once it is full cooked, drain the fat from the ground beef, and return the skillet to the stove, over medium heat. Add in the pasta, giving it a good stir. Cook for a couple of minutes. Just the beef and the dry pasta.
During this time, add your spices, and corn starch to a small bowl. Give it a good mix, then set it aside.
Next add in the hot water, giving another good stir.
Add the milk and the spices.
Remember how that classic Hamburger Helper always had that shine to it? Well, that’s where the cornstarch comes in. Not only does it provide that nice shine, but it also helps thicken the sauce, making it super special.
Give the mixture a good stir, and cook this for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta become tender and the sauce begins to reduce down a bit as well as thicken.
Now it is time to add the cheese. Toss it on top, then give a good stir. Turn off the heat and get ready to serve.
Place in a bowl, and dig in. I can tell you that the flavor and texture is spot on. As I informed my colleagues at work that I made Hamburger Helper the other night, one simply said “Oh, really? Hamburger and noodles in skillet. Wow.”
This is more than hamburger and noodles in a skillet people. This is the real deal in taste, and without those forty or so unknown ingredients. Hope you enjoy.